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  • Sir Stafford Lofthouse Sands was a former finance minister of the Bahamas, who held other high positions in the islands until his self-chosen exile in 1967. He helped create the Bahamas' tourism industry and is credited with being an architect of Bahamian post-war prosperity. Sands was a lawyer who, from 1946, represented Wallace Groves and other Americans who sought to establish casinos, resorts, free-trade areas, and other developments in the islands, primarily at Freeport. From 1958, when party politics began, Sands had a prominent role in the United Bahamian Party, which was in power until 1967. The 1967 Royal Commission of Inquiry reported that Sands and the UBP received large payments, represented by Groves as "consulting fees," from the casino interests. Sands then left the islands for exile in Spain, along with his considerable fortune. A white Bahamian economist, Sands was branded a racist by many when he left the country, after a black majority government first came to power in 1967, and vowed never to return.

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